Add private annotations to turn-based PGN's as you play?


Hey everyone - I've been playing turn-based games here and I love it.

I know that there's the private "notes" section to keep track of what my throught processes are at the time, and the considerations going through my mind on each move I make. While this is nice, I think it would be vastly more  powerfull to be able to sort of annotate my PGN as I make each move. I can sort of do this artificially through the notes section but it's cumbersome as I would have to type in the move # each time into the notes section (otherwise I wouldn't know the context) and then copy/paste and then manually annotate the downloaded PGN (if I knew how) each time, etc.

As an example of what I'm after: In most games there's some critical moments, and I it would be so nice to just type, for example, that "I've got a crucial decision here that I spent a lot of time on - I considered move A and move B, but opted for the more conservative approach simply because I couldn't calculate everything through". Or "I have absolutely no ideas here -  don't see any tactics on either side with this one, so at least I improve my pawn structure  with no apparent drawbacks".  Or "Trying to lure the knight out of the way so I can do Qf7+, let's see what happens".

If I can't make these sort of per-move notes to myself as they are happening, then, I don't think it's worth the time for me to go through the game with a chess engine, because I will not remember my thought processes at each move. This is especially so because I often play several games at one time. On the other hand, it would be _incredibly_ useful to run these critical positions through an engine. But once the game is over and others are in progress, I don't always remember what these "critical" (to my mind) moments were, what moves I was considering and why, and what questions I would like to run by the engine, or other forum people.

Is there anyway I can do what I'm after in

As an important aside, I looked up the PGN syntax and it's actually unclear to me how move annotations are actually included. That kinda doesn't make sense because I play through annotated games all the time on the internet - are these really not just PGN files?  Can someone point a good resource/example of how to annotate moves in PGN?

I suppose that in the worse case, I could always work out some manual notation when when I'm writing in the private note pane which indicates the current move # (Although this should happen automatically!), and then when the game is over, copy/paste it to a file and run some home-grown program which places the notes as annotations into the downloaded PGN.

Any ideas, comments, suggestions?




I agree this would be very nice.

Is there anyway I can do what I'm after in

Yes, you can download any PGN editor such as Arena GUI, SCID, ChessDB, the free Chessbase light etc to edit and annotate PGN files, but you would have to enter the moves from the real online game manually into the PGN file you're using for analysis and annotating.

As an important aside, I looked up the PGN syntax and it's actually unclear to me how move annotations are actually included.

In PGN format, text annotations are entered like this: 1.e4 {Best by test}, and variations are entered with 1.e4 (1.d4 d5) e5. However, in reality no one annotates like this, the PGN editors take care of this formatting while you just play around with variations.


Thanks, sounds cumbersome (especially with several games going), but I'll try something like you suggest  and see how it goes.

I guess another way would be to use the Notes section and mark the comments with the current move #, then at the end of the game, copy/paste the comments to a file and write a script to merge the comments into the PGN as annotations. This might work though, because I'm not sure if the notes stay once the game is finished.

I still think it would be a nice feature to have in


Absoulutely agree and Im disappointed you cant do this - its an obvious feature that could be offered to paying members as an inducement and I keep wondering why doesnt implement it - there are far more complex things that they are capable of doing so its surely not a technical issue...